Dark Souls 3 is renowned for its challenging gameplay, intricate mechanics, and the depth of its character builds. Among the various classes available to players, the Mercenary stands out as a versatile and formidable choice. This guide delves into the best Mercenary build, detailing the optimal stats, armor, and weapons to maximize your prowess in combat.
- Vigor: Vital for increasing your health pool. Aim for at least 30 points, but more is always beneficial.
Importance in Combat: Vigor directly influences the player’s health pool. In the unforgiving world of Dark Souls 3, where a single mistake can lead to death, having a substantial health reserve is crucial. It allows players to withstand more hits, giving them a better chance to recover from missteps or to endure longer against formidable foes.
Deciding Factor in Close Battles: There are numerous instances in the game where players might find themselves toe-to-toe with an enemy, trading blows in quick succession. In such close-quarter combat scenarios, a higher Vigor can mean the difference between life and death. It provides that extra buffer, allowing players to come out on top even when both parties are on their last sliver of health.
Comparison to Other Stats: While stats like Dexterity or Strength might boost offense, Vigor is purely defensive. It doesn’t enhance damage or improve skills, but it provides the foundational support upon which all other combat strategies are built. Without a decent health pool, even the most skilled players can be overwhelmed.
- Endurance: Essential for both attacking and dodging. A minimum of 30 is recommended, but pushing it to 40 provides a comfortable stamina pool.
Role in Combat: Endurance dictates the player’s stamina, which is consumed with almost every action – be it attacking, dodging, blocking, or sprinting. Stamina management is, therefore, a core component of combat. Without stamina, players can’t attack or defend, making them vulnerable.
Tips on Conserving Stamina:
- Avoid spamming attacks. Instead, learn the enemy’s patterns and strike judiciously.
- Use lighter weapons or those that consume less stamina per swing if you frequently run out.
- Remember to lower your shield when not actively blocking, as stamina regenerates slower with the shield up.
- Equip items or rings that boost stamina recovery, like the Chloranthy Ring.
- Dexterity: The Mercenary excels with dexterity-based weapons. Aim for 40 points to maximize damage output.
Weapons and Skills: Dexterity influences damage output with “sharp” weapons like katanas, curved swords, and thrusting swords. For the Mercenary class, weapons like the Sellsword Twinblades or the Lothric Knight Sword are prime examples of dexterity-based weapons. Additionally, certain skills, like quickstep, benefit from a higher dexterity stat.
Impact on Damage Output: A higher dexterity not only allows for the use of more agile weapons but also amplifies the damage dealt with them. It’s especially crucial for builds focusing on quick strikes and combos, allowing players to deal significant damage quickly.
- Luck: While not a primary stat, having around 30-40 points in luck can enhance bleed effects, especially when using certain weapons.
Mechanics: Luck is a unique stat in Dark Souls 3. At first glance, it might seem less impactful than others, but it has its niches.
Bleed Effects: Certain weapons induce bleed effects on enemies. With higher luck, the buildup of these effects is faster, allowing players to inflict bleed damage more frequently.
Item Discovery: Luck also influences the drop rate of items from defeated enemies. A higher luck means a better chance of rare items dropping, making it valuable for players farming specific gear or materials.
Other Influences: Some weapons, when infused with the Hollow gem, scale their damage with the luck stat, providing an alternative build strategy for those looking to experiment.
- Sellsword Twinblades: Arguably the best weapon for a dexterity-based Mercenary. When infused with a sharp gem, these blades can deal devastating damage, especially with their rapid combo attacks.
- Lothric Knight Sword: A versatile and powerful choice. With a sharp infusion, it becomes a deadly dexterity weapon with a good reach and moveset.
- Warden Twinblades: These are excellent for a bleed-focused build, especially when infused with a hollow or bleed gem.
- Fallen Knight Set: A balanced armor set offering good protection without being too heavy. It’s aesthetically fitting for a Mercenary and provides decent resistance.
- Dancer’s Set: While not the heaviest in defense, this set offers a good balance of weight and protection. Its unique look also sets you apart.
- Alva Set: A lightweight set with respectable defenses. It’s perfect for those who prioritize mobility.
Rings and Accessories:
- Chloranthy Ring: Boosts stamina recovery speed, allowing more frequent attacks and dodges.
- Ring of Favor: Increases HP, stamina, and maximum equip load. A must-have for almost any build.
- Carthus Milkring: Grants additional dexterity and obscures rolling, making it harder for enemies to predict your movements.
- Hornet Ring: Enhances critical attacks, making backstabs and ripostes even more deadly.
- Always keep an eye on your equip load. Staying below 70% ensures you maintain a fast roll, which is crucial for dodging attacks.
- Experiment with different weapon infusions to find what suits your playstyle best. While sharp is recommended for a dexterity build, hollow and bleed can also be effective.
- Adaptability is key. While this guide provides a foundation, the best build aligns with your playstyle and preferences.
Origins of the Mercenary:
The Mercenary class, at its core, represents a seasoned warrior who has seen many battles and has honed their skills for hire. Unlike knights who may serve a kingdom or clerics who serve a deity, mercenaries serve those who can pay.
Their origins are not tied to a specific land or lord in the Dark Souls universe, making them a wandering blade, always seeking the next contract.
Combat Strategies for the Mercenary Build
Mastering the Dual-Wield:
The Mercenary’s signature Sellsword Twinblades are a force to be reckoned with. When dual-wielding:
- Quick Combos: Use the weapon’s quick attack succession to break through enemy defenses. The rapid slashes can stagger many foes, preventing them from retaliating.
- Spin Slash: This weapon art delivers a spinning motion, hitting enemies multiple times. It’s excellent for crowd control when surrounded.
Enemy Types and Strategies:
- Standard Enemies: Use the Mercenary’s agility to your advantage. Dodge their initial attacks and counter with a quick combo. For shielded enemies, the Twinblades’ rapid strikes can often break their guard, leaving them open.
- Large Enemies: These foes often have powerful but slow attacks. Time your dodges to avoid their strikes, and then move in for a quick combo. It’s essential to be wary of their reach and not get greedy with attacks.
- Ranged Enemies: Close the distance quickly using dodges and rolls. Once in melee range, unleash a flurry of attacks before they can switch to close-combat mode.
- Magic Users: The Mercenary’s speed is crucial here. Dodge their spells and close the gap. Once you’re close, keep the pressure on to prevent them from casting.
The Mercenary’s agility and swift attacks are assets, but boss battles require more strategy:
- Study Patterns: Every boss has attack patterns. Spend the initial moments of the fight observing. Learn when it’s safe to attack and when to stay defensive.
- Hit-and-Run: Instead of long combos, sometimes it’s safer to land one or two hits and then retreat, especially against bosses with quick counterattacks.
- Use the Environment: Many boss arenas have pillars or obstacles. Use these for cover against ranged attacks or to create distance.
- Manage Stamina: It’s tempting to use all stamina for attacks, but always save some for dodging, especially when the boss winds up for a powerful move.
Co-op and PvP Tips
- Complementary Roles: In co-op, it’s essential to complement your partner’s strengths and weaknesses. If your partner is a tanky Knight, use your Mercenary’s agility to flank enemies and deal damage, drawing attention away from them.
- Communication: Always communicate with your co-op partner. Coordinate attacks, especially against tough enemies or bosses, to maximize damage and control the battlefield.
- Reviving Allies: As a Mercenary, you have the agility to reach fallen allies and revive them during battles quickly. Always watch your partner’s health and be ready to assist.
- Sharing Resources: If you have items that can benefit your partner more (like specific resins or buffs), don’t hesitate to share. Co-op is about teamwork.
- Boss Battles: Use the Mercenary’s speed to distract bosses, allowing your partner to heal or land heavy attacks. Rotate roles as needed to manage boss aggro.
- Know Your Opponent: Before engaging, observe your opponent. Identify their weapon and try to gauge their play style. Are they aggressive, defensive, or waiting for your first move?
- Utilize Speed: The Mercenary’s strength lies in agility. Dodge attacks and looks for openings. Many players struggle against fast, unpredictable opponents.
- Bait and Punish: Feign an attack or deliberately miss to bait your opponent into countering. Once they commit, punish their mistakes with a quick combo.
- Manage Stamina: In PvP, running out of stamina can be fatal. Always keep enough in reserve for dodging or blocking.
- Handling Different Builds:
- Vs. Strength Builds: These players often wield heavy weapons with slow attacks. Dodge their strikes and counter during their recovery.
- Vs. Magic/Sorcery Builds: Close the distance quickly to prevent them from casting. Stay aggressive to keep them on the defensive.
- Vs. Ranged Builds: Use the environment for cover and approach strategically. Once in melee range, keep the pressure on.
- Vs. Other Dexterity Builds: These battles can be fast-paced. Focus on timing, prediction, and capitalizing on mistakes.
- Parrying in PvP: While risky, a successful parry can turn the tide of battle. If you notice your opponent has a repetitive attack pattern, time your parry to land a critical riposte.
- Use the Environment: In PvP arenas, always be aware of your surroundings. Lure opponents into tight spaces, use height differences, or force them into environmental hazards.
- Adaptability: No two PvP encounters are the same. Always be ready to adapt your strategy based on the situation and your opponent’s tactics.